Delingpole’s last quip dovetails perfectly with John Podhoretz’s brilliant observation about why Al-Jazeera paid so much to acquire Current TV in the latest Ricochet podcast, alongside Jonah Goldberg and Rob Long:
JONAH GOLDBERG: I remember writing a column five years ago. Remember when [the first Cars movie from Pixar] came out? Al Gore has this whole thing in his books about how the internal combustion is the central focus of evil in the modern world, and we have to wean people off of it. I remember writing this column saying, how come Al Gore isn’t condemning this movie, which is indoctrinating little kids to love cars? Al Gore plays this game all the time, where he says this stuff to the rubes on the left, that they all eat up, while he’s now worth more than Mitt Romney from playing this sort of crony capitalist stuff, and the story ends with him taking nearly 100 million dollars in petro-dollars from the Middle East! It’s a fascinating, Tom Wolfe-ian kind of thing.
JOHN PODHORETZ: Well, I think it’s a little more sinister than that, in this one sense.
ROB LONG: How can it be more sinister than that?
PODHORETZ: Well, here’s why. [What Jonah is describing is] hypocrisy, and comic hypocrisy. [But] Al Gore, the student of Marty Peretz, his intellectual sponsor, the former editor and owner of the New Republic, who is basically the leading and maybe the last sort of hard-line Zionist Democrat, the man who chose Joe Lieberman as his running mate, is 12 years after that, selling out — literally selling out — to a network that regularly hosts Islamists and anti-Semites, and people who say things like, “Israel will be gone in ten years,” ominously.
Now: here’s the sinister part: Al-Jazeera apparently paid about $500 million for Current TV. It is not worth $500 million. Glenn Beck would not have offered it $500 million. Nobody would have offered it $500 million. Its revenue, which is about $100 million, came entirely from the fees that cable companies paid to have it on the air. That number was going to go down, and go down over time as they cancelled it, because it drew nobody, and there was no longer any reason to make nice to Al Gore, who no longer had any political power.
So the question is: why did Al-Jazeera pay $500 million, and who from Current is going to be on Al-Jazeera’s board? Well, the answer is, it’s not Joel Hyatt, Gore’s partner, the son-in-law of former Senator Howard Metzenbaum, and an ambulance-chasing lawyer, who started an ambulance-chasing firm, one of the first to advertise on television in the 1980s.
It is Al Gore, former vice president of the United States, winner of the popular vote in the 2000 election. They [Al-Jazeera] paid $500 million to get Al Gore as their front man, and that is sinister. That is sinister.
LONG: That’s interesting; I hadn’t quite worked it out that way. But it is true. Assuming for a minute that Al-Jazeera wants a cable channel. These channels do get sold. They get bought, and they got sold, and sometimes you buy a channel that has a very low value, and has a very low audience, and you revamp it, and you turn it into something big. That happens all the time. So I’m not sure about the actual price that Current would fetch, if it were up for auction. But if you were Al-Jazeera, with those pockets, you’d probably spend a little bit more, and get a whole lot more, than spend $100 million [sic], or whatever it was, to buy Current. It just doesn’t seem like a very good deal for Al-Jazeera, unless, as John says, they were buying some other product, which I guess, is Al Gore.
PODHORETZ: For you, it doesn’t mean anything. For [Al-Jazeera] to say that they have such credibility that the former Vice President of the United States is on their board, and is a consultant to them, was worth several hundred million dollars. That’s, I think, an inarguable fact.
Incidentally, Delingpole links to his article in the London Telegraph titled, “Now even Pravda admits the ‘global warming’ jig is up,” with Pravda as a joking euphemism for the Gray Lady. But that seems awfully unfair to the real Pravda, which lately has been making far more sense on several issues than America’s MSM — and not coincidentally staking out territory to the right of America’s MSM.